Every time an MC of the Caucasian variety picks up a microphone, and gains some recognition, the Eminem comparisons start to come from all angles—and in the case of Asher Roth [Click to read Roth interview], its no different.
The Pennsylvania native who first had the chance to audition for Jay-Z, but ended up at SRC Records instead, releases his debut album, Asleep In The Bread Aisle with the intention of solidifying himself as an individual, and of course letting the world know that his last name is Roth, and not Mathers.
Although their voice patterns are virtually identical, Asher Roth still manages to separate himself by putting his own personal twist on Hip-Hop.
Recruiting artists like Busta Rhymes, Cee-Lo, Chester French, Keri Hilson, Jazze Pha [Click to read Jazze Pha interview], and Beanie Sigel for his freshman start, the college lover begins things with the Saved By The Bell-themed ‘Lark On My Go-Cart.’
Behind a simple boom-bap drum loop, Roth has a little fun with the English language with lines like, “Mario Kart skills are outrageous/play me any day, and I’ll be the best racist/wait no erase it/meant to say racer/traded in my cell phone for a new pager/take off your blue now dot com/I’m at the grocery store with hot moms.”
From there, Don Cannon [Click to read Cannon interview] adds his sound to ‘La Di Da,’ as Roth explains how those are his words of inspiration when the chips are down.
Cee-Lo lends his soulful tone to ‘Be By Myself,’ while Roth reiterates that thought by rapping about remaining a free man, and not settling down. On ‘As I Em,’ Asher Roth takes time out to discuss the whole Eminem debate.
With the help of Chester French, Roth opens up on how he feels about the issue, “Every interview, feel like I’m sayin’ the same thing/Like: Em was great, yeah he paved the way for me/he was inspiration for everybody from A to Z/but they keep relating me/I can’t get away/chasin’ me.”
After he gets that off his chest, the MC gets a little more friendly with innocent tale of ‘Bad Day,’ accompanied by the help of Jazze Pha. The oddest pairing on the album has to be the ‘Perfectionist,’ as it features the “Broad Street Bully,” Beanie Sigel.
Even though Beanie Sigel and Asher Roth sound strange on paper, they both manage to come together nicely in the recording booth.
The Philly veteran steals the show however, by playing off of the Duck Down franchise with lines like, “I ain’t ya average little rapper young scrapper/I ain’t a backpacker, I’m an original gun clapper/I buckshot shorties, and turn their moon blacker.”
Other songs that Asher Roth left the bread aisle worth bringing to the checkout counter are contributions like ‘Lion’s Roar’ (feat. Busta Rhymes), the heart-felt father dedication in ‘His Dream,’ ‘Sour Patch Kids,’ and his ode to Hip-Hop in ‘Fallin.’’
Asher Roth’s Asleep In The Bread Aisle is a true indication that Hip-Hop doesn’t have to be subjected to negative aspects on a daily basis.
By using his lyrical ability to focus on other avenues of life, Roth proves that it’s okay to do your own thing, instead of conforming to what’s popular at the moment. After all, isn’t that what a true artist is supposed to do?